tv Press Here NBC January 18, 2015 9:00am-9:31am PST
it may be the world's best. >> how he's changing the way people think about work. why linkedin employees are constantly updating resumes and predicting the future of hollywood in a high tech world. our reporters, jenny wong of the charlotte observer and and the financial times. this week on "press here."
>> good morning, everyone i'm scott mcgrew. in this always on texting and at which time -- twiter word we never stop even on a saturday. >> i'll need you to come in tomorrow. if you can be here around 9:00. that would be great. okay? and i almost forgot i'm always going to need you to go ahead and come in on sunday too. okay? >> every office workers favorite movie, office space, staying at the office for an outrageous amount of time was a startup badge of honor but no more. luke is one of a number of bosses who doesn't need you to come in on a saturday and his vacation policy i'm not sure he
has one. joined by jenny wong of the charlotte observer. you must have a vacation policy but it's not strict like the one we have here at nbc, right? >> thank you for having me here. yes, we do have a vacation policy. we looked into having an unlimited policy. when you look what behavior drives an organization, what we find in most cases, people don't take any vacation at all. >> which is fascinating in and of itself. >> it's not unlimited but you don't count of number of days somebody takes, which in my mind is kind of the same thing. >> it's essentially an honor system. you work with your manager and team. if your manager and team say you well not screwing up by spending a couple of weeks away it's about working for your team and you than the company per se. >> on your careers page it says that you guys insist that your employees take some of their time off. what do you think is the minimum needed to prevent burnout and
how do you enforce that? >> you know, i feel like vacation and burnout are clearly related but burnout is a week by week thing than it is a quarter by quarter or year by year. you can easily take a month off or two months off but if you aren't taking two or three weeks off every year -- >> i take two or three off every year. the employees are able -- our policy is four weeks i believe. you're ceo and you're not sure. that's fantastic, that you don't quite know what your vacation policy is. >> i know what the policies are, but the technical terms vary a little bit. you get four weeks, it would be rare one person would use all vacation in one lump sum. both because you end up wanting to use a little bit around the holidays and do a small trip then maybe one large trip.
i'll do a two-week trip. >> you're not counting anyway so -- >> tell me a bit more about what happened when you did have unlimited. i think that would make me feel really bad about taking leave and i would prefer entitlement, maybe a large entitlement. i do take a lot of vacation, i'm european european, what happened? >> we never instituted unlimited. we looked at net flix and there's a story around unlimited and studies that -- study people's behavior when you have unlimited. if you do unlimited, vacation you have to pair that with minimum vacation policies too. what will happen and you can have referenced this earlier, it becomes a badge of i could but i won't. you look up and year later around everyone is racing to take the least vacation possible. that's the real problem in most startups, there's no benefit as working as hard as people do and it's detrimental to the organization. but we all feel like we have to be busy all the time. >> i'm curious about your
personal approach to recharging. do you tends to prefer shorter more frequent breaks like a long weekend every month or do you like to have one long vacation a year? >> yes. yes, i do both. >> good to be the king. >> i haven't worked weekends in six or eight years. one of the things i do friday night, we talk about what went on this week introducing employees. when i walk in not checking my e-mail during the all hands and don't check e-mail until at the earliest saturday afternoon and even then it's more like i might scan through, is anything on fire? i learned a long time ago, if you can take the full weekend off, actually do something else think about something else usually think about work but not checking in and doing things it makes a difference. >> netflix does this and some other companies, but do you think it's an oregon thing and not a silicon valley thing? because the badge of honor has
been i was at the office until -- and sleeping under the desk and that kind of stuff. >> i don't think so. if you look at the studies that have been -- they go back to taylor that say there's a certain amount of time you can work up to an amount of time and varies by person and trade. pretty much every study says about 55 hours a week. not getting boredom and actively working against yourself. >> i've seen some offices go to a model where they actually shut the office at 6:00 and some of them even convert into something that's used in evening glasses that makes people go home. >> we haven't considered that. we have a few kegs in the office and couple of areas where there's one particular lounge that has what appears to be a cocktail making station. >> encouraging people to stay longer. >> to switch from work at least, time to stop typing. >> i'm trying to imagine the nbc hr people we're not counting vacation and we have kegs and
i'm never imagining that happen or "financial times quts. >> no kegs. i've tried so hard. >> how many employees? >> 335. >> if you get bigger it won't work? in the sense, schools don't want to have dress code policies but there will be a kid who shows up in something inappropriate therefore they have to have a dress code policy which 99.9% of the children were never going to violate in the first place. is there a point in which you have to have stricter policies because of the one guy? >> not as long as we have good management. one of the things is this saves us a ton of money of the we spend far less on administrative costs because we don't have an hr person managing that. it saves us more and more money. then the reality is it doesn't matter how good the policies are, there's going to be somebody who finds a way to break the policy that you kind of go, oh, no, i have to redo the policy.
you need good management i will use my brain in combination with the policy to make decision. as long as you have managers willing to own the decision and be intelligent about it you never have to have stupid policies. >> surviving in a word of grown-ups and i expect you'll get a few applications as well after people see this probably from a couple of us as well. thanks for being with us. >> thank you very much for having me. how we define our relationship with work up next. when "press here" continues.
welcome back when you start your first day at the new job, the ceo or hr says we're a family here except families don't fire people. so what should the model for a company be? in his new book chris offers the idea much an alliance. chris is one of the three authors on that book. who are the others chris? >> i was fortunate enough to co-author this with reed hoffman, the founder and chairman of linkedin and ben kaznoek ka. >> why those three? >> it turns out that we've all known each other over a decade which makes it easier to work together. the goal was to bring together the different experiences we had. reed's experience in silicon valley working with a lot of different companies and ben's
experiences as entrepreneur and my own experience as a manager. >> what i'm interested in you say the idea of the tenure of each job is getting shorter. are there any stats on how authority it is now? >> absolutely. if you look at the stats from the department of labor and what not, the tenure of employees has been dropping and declining for decades and down to the point now where the classic two years is pretty much the tenure you see. >> two years. >> we've been doing this to each other though right? we lament that there is no more company and you stay forever but we employees have been bouncing around and leaving companies as well. this kind of a two-way street. >> absolutely. what's really happened is as companies have stopped showing loyalty to the people people have stopped showing loyalty to companies. it doesn't make sense. but that's bad for both parties. you've been at nbc for some time now, you would have a much stronger position because of the fact you've been here because of the fact you established a
relationship. >> under the old model, right but it could be under the new model that a bounce to a different job and get my check. the ceo of linkedin did not start at linkedin. >> what is the new model? >> we believe it is an alliance if you think of an alliance from the standpoint of history, it's about an explicit deal mutually beneficial between two independent players. instead of treating employees like family and saying you're dependent on me two independent parties agreeing to work together. >> i like the analogies you offer in the book to replace that kind of dishonest family analogy, you talk about a professional sports team where you expect players to come in and come out but there's a central goal of winning a championship, right, and that's how you define a mission. you use the tour of duty language from the military. how do you feel that those melt metaphors are influencing practice? >> we've gotten a lot of great
reaction from managers and leaders of companies as we've gone through. part of what really resonates is that notion of a mission. even for people who say, gosh i don't necessarily want to implement these different things. every employee understands their mission and what they are trying to accomplish. how that benefits them and the company, that resonates with everyone. >> how does that work outside the tech industry where maybe you can complete a mission in two years and other industries you need longer term thinking? how are you going to design a pipeline or new way of managing money if you're only thinking in two year blocks? >> absolutely. one of the things we advocate in the alliance notion of getting away from making it time based and think about it from the standpoint of the mission. our goal sl for employees and companies to develop longer term relationships more mutually beneficial. >> the idea of a teamworking together for whatever amount of time makes sense. chris, i want you to work on my team x number of years and we'll accomplish whatever. at the end of that we'll
refigure out what we're going to do. you may go, i may go. we may find a new project and shuffle the team as well right? >> that's right. >> that's what makes silicon valley so strong. we've seen that with guests on "press here", when you used to work with the other guy who worked with that lady who created the thing and all of a sudden interconnectedness is what makes it work. >> absolutely. one of the reasons we have a subtitle to the book we call it managing talent in the network age, it reflects the era in which we live where people have more connections than ever before and bringing in new people or bringing back people who may be former alumni of the company can really help build those relationship and give you the kinds of resources you need to succeed. >> i love the pragmatic aspect of the alliance framework, but i wonder, do you need buy-in at the ceo level to make it work? or can an individual manager implement the alliance on an individual team? >> it absolutely is best when the ceo buys in and top-down decision for the entire company.
but we've had companies and individual managers come to us what can i do. i tell them as an individual manager, your team your group, you can build relationships even if you have a single direct report you can start building that relationship. as you achieve and show great business results other people will say, hey, how do i get in on that? >> i like that point you made about people coming back to companies after having been away. i notice that that's something marissa mayor has done. >> some of the key advantages of bringing back people besides the financial advantage of i don't have to pay a recruiter, is the fact they already understand the culture of the company and how to get things done. because they've been away they actually have new experiences and new skills to bring too bear than if they stayed at the company the entire time. the key to being able to do that effectively is to actually go ahead and maintain that relationship all along.
creating an alumni network, keeping in touch, making sure they are aware of what's going on. that's critical. >> expecting them to leave at some point. one of the things i was struck by linked in will ask its brand-new they don't work here yet candidates, what do you expect to do after you leave linked in which would throw me? it's a fascinating question. people at linkedin are often polishing resumes and updating linked in and linkedin knows that. >> it's required to keep their profiles up to date. >> that would encourage recruiters to then pull them away. >> the insight here by acknowledging something we all understand, you have a job interview, you're supposed to say i want your job in five years. by being honest up front, we know you may not be here for 20 or 30 years, what do you want to accomplish during the time here? and by being focused by admission and benefits, that convinces them to do one tour
and another tour and another tour. >> and this creates this listen chris, i'll give you and help you develop skills and you'll help our company and i understand you're going to leave. but that's the alliance right, this i'm going to give you're going to give and we'll end up benefitting in the end. >> absolutely the employee helps the economy become more adaptable and evolve and the company helps the employee become more marketable. >> the new book is "the alliance," we appreciate you being with us this morning. oscar predictions from three people grossly unqualified to make them plus one person who may actually know.
welcome back exactly a week ago i was watching the golden globes right here on nbc and show called transparent won the best tv comedy which is strange, because i have never in my life heard of this tv show. it turns out it's an amazon tv show and that is a sign of the fracturing of the television audience. i'm not the hippest of people but you would think i would have at least heard of the country's best tv show. i thought we would bring in toby who writes about digital for variety magazine and runs a website called movie pilot which is like bleacher report for hollywood. fair comparison? >> that's a fair comparison.
>> let's talk about first of all "transparent" and this idea we've gotten to the point where i'm trying to convince my friends to watch sherlock on bbc america, never heard of the channel. how did we get to that point? this is what the new reality is right? >> i think the interesting economically the interesting thing there's new packages out there where actually high end kind of tv show fits in perfectly to sell something else or sell a subscription or free home delivery in the face of amazon. that's a new economic -- >> certainly "house of cards" a ton of netflix subscriptions. >> absolutely. it's interesting this kind of high end product not necessarily has to work itself and sell itself or has a high rate on television, but is actually selling bigger bundle. >> what about this situation in five years time will we not be watching regular tv at all?
>> what? >> no -- no that won't happen. but perhaps they'll watch a little less is what she was trying to say. >> as a consumer this is brilliant times. so many options tv landscape has widely opened to create those spaces where suddenly shows are produced and flourish that never been -- >> it is the golden age of television you can have enough narrow things a television show with smart people talking about silicon valley and detective show and all of these various golf channel, for goodness sake. i don't golf but it's very popular. you can have nar row castings as well. >> one of the things i wonder about, you can clearly see the impact of movies on this new golden age of television. it's ever more sin mattic big name directors and big screen movie stars, do you foresee an impact of television influencing
movies getting the other way, three hour epics? >> the best piece of writing is done on television shows right now would be same challenge with about woody allen doing a tv show for amazon. there's a lot of talent going to television. it's almost like it frees the creative spirit to doing something more exciting again. >> almost like the divide between the two againgenres has become artificial it's almost immaterial now. >> people are watching tv shows all in a row anyway right? >> that's right. >> toby your website, movie pilot, this is not just one fan blog. this is the second most read hollywood -- help me with the qualifications here. >> movie pilot is a publishing platform and become the biggest entertainment website for millennials, very influential,
platteform such publisher, we allow them to write about tv shows and games. >> bleacher report a sports website that recently got bought for a lot of money, in which the fans do most of the writing and work. now, are you paying those fans for their writing? >> it depends. first of all, that's a platform thing. the publishing piece we do we are cure ate different fan channels and provide context and make sure that the pieces written by fans are seen by fans -- >> you're not getting to the are you paying the writers? >> three different ways how we give back to the contributors one is distribution. first of all, if you're a fan you want to express yourself and read by millions of other fans and become part of the conversation, that's the first thing. the second thing if you contribute regularly we'll give you access to the fans -- the stars and content that you like.
this week we're sending 150 contributors to see the movie "kingsmen" way before it comes to the cinema. together with luke skywalker, 17-year-old hopefully interviewing george lucas. it's access we give to fans to talk to the people and content they care about. the third level is we do pay contributors once they come to a certain professional routine of writing for us reaching our audience. >> how many contributors do you pay then? >> we're at about 2,000, 3,000 articles per week right now. mostly written by contributors but maybe a third or like 20% written by our editorial staff. >> of the 2,000 -- >> we're paying about 15 to 20 right now but we give access to a bigger group. how we see it we're not judging you on how you write. everybody can write and contribute it's simple to write about something. and not all of those writers want to become writers professionally, there's a lot of
people who actually just want to express themselves as soon as we see those writers and reach more things -- >> one comparison we always make almost famous. you know 16 years old when he toured to write the first cover story for "rolling stone" but that's a big -- >> but the idea. >> he was a fan first and writer second. we're trying to find and develop those contributors to become writers. about 17 years old, 16 years oelds. >> thrilled to have the opportunity and we develop them to build an audience and get their message out. >> speaking of that. one of the things that is interesting, before you launched movie pilot stateside, you have the number one movie website in germany. >> yes, i'm german. >> what do you find to be unique about american audiences? what makes an american fan an american fan? >> the reason we had to move
here, the western pop culture is mainly here. you have early audiences that discover shows that we hear late about. the talent, everything is here. in the economic idea of a defusion model, this is the market. also, very interesting to see how new pop culture phenomena come up and amplified by the u.s. audience then travel abroad. >> not to interrupt, i did promise an oscar prediction we have a minute left. boyhood, "imitation game" "selma", sir? best picture. >> one surprise is that lego movie -- >> i agree. >> the second is guardians the galaxy is not in there. there's a lot of pop culture missing in the list. of that list i think personally